I'm here at Bear Lake with my family and to get on the Internet, I have to hike up a hill in the heat for 1/2 an hour (or happen to be able to catch a ride with someone else or brave driving my car up the rocky road that's resulted in more flat tires than I care to remember) to my parent's writing retreat (where I am right now). I can get email on my phone but blog posting requires being up here at this lovely house overlooking the lake while my kids are hopefully being somewhat supervised by my sisters at the big lake house down the road where we're all staying. So that's why I haven't been posting much.
We've had a really wonderful couple of weeks here since leaving Ashton, Idaho. As usual, we had a 4-day reunion with every possible member of my family in attendance (18 adults and 19 kids this year - perfect attendance). Then it's "open house" for all of July and typically the sisters and any available sisters-in-law and their kids are around for most of the month with the dads and brothers coming in and out as their schedules permit. But this year as been extra nice - we've had almost everyone able to hang out far beyond the reunion with some people popping in and out as they head out for various commitments.
Last year I was one of the ones who had to pop in and out for different things and I didn't feel like I got nearly my fill of hang-out time with my family and relaxation time at the lake. So this year I said "no" to pretty much everything in July and have been so enjoying the chance to really BE with the people I love the most and enjoy this beautiful place (while throwing in quite a bit of emailing and work on a couple upcoming Power of Moms Retreats among other things - but with an hour or so a day, I can keep up with the basics).
My sisters and I read with the kids and do a workout video most mornings (with lots of kids joining in and/or interrupting or jumping on us - always an adventure getting our workouts in!). Then we spend most afternoons at the lake - we read and chat while the little kids play in the sand, we go out in the boat and watch the kids bounce around on the tube behind the boat with serious glee, we swim in the deliciously cool clear blue water. The evenings are for talking and playing speed scrabble or boggle or making podcasts (my mom, sisters and I are working on a whole podcast series to be featured on The Power of Moms).
We do have our moments when the chaos and noise gets a little high and when the food runs a little low and the mess of so many people along with the issue of who is or isn't doing their share of clean-up gets a little frustrating.
But life is good at the lake. And I count my blessings daily. After months of way more stress than is healthy, I needed this. A lot.
Highlights of our time here so far (in pictures):
Traditional Reunion bonfire - nothing like everyone's faces in the firelight. We all share a quick "best and worst" of the year and listen to the reunion CD (everyone submits their favorite song for the year and we all guess whose song is whose - plus this year it turned into a spontaneous dance party)
Cousins hanging out - these 4 boys have had SO much fun together!
Annual Eyrealm Olympics - everyone gets a chance to win sooner or later - lots of crazy events involved.
Annual "Mothers and Future Mothers of Eyrealm" trip to Park City - we stole away for 24 hours following the reunion while our good husbands, brothers and dad took all the kids.
More photos and info on Shawni's blog here.
We've watched lots of amazing sunsets and seen cousins grow every closer (Eliza and Shawni's Claire)
Just being together - everyone all in one place - eating, talking, laughing, sharing, crying, you name it.
We went for a beautiful run and ended up in a refreshing downpour (me, Saydi and Charity)
We've been doing lots of exercise videos with lots of kids "helping" us -
here's the front row of P90X one day. I took a video one day where we had 5 women working out
with babies and kids all over the place - funny stuff! I'll post it when I get a chance.
We also went on a beautiful trip to Bloomington Lake (near Bear Lake) but I've got so many photos of that, I'll do a separate post on that.